FOOTBALL: Turnovers prove costly in Pioneer loss to U-D

The Pioneer football team didn’t have to travel across the state to play a football game on Wednesday night but the opponent was again another top program the Pioneers had to deal with.

The Pioneers had a short week of practice before facing University of Detroit Jesuit in their home opener and that short week didn’t help as the Pioneers fell 44-6 to the Cubs.

U-D lost to Brother Rice in its season opener but have made the playoffs the last two seasons.

“They are a good football team,” said Pioneer Coach Bill Bellers. “We just weren’t very sharp and you can’t turn the ball over like that against a team that good.”

Turnovers proved costly in the first half as the Cubs built a 30-0 lead. Despite falling behind, the Pioneers put on an impressive show in the third quarter.

Pioneer converted four fourth-down conversions during a drive that took almost the entire third quarter. The drive ended when Michael McMullen threw a short pass to DaNeko Harris for the Pioneers’ first score of the young season.
“That drive really gives us something to build on,” Bellers said. “I was impressed with the way we responded in the third quarter. We moved the ball and possessed for most of the third quarter. It was great to see.”

U-D scored on the third play of the game on a 71-yard TD pass to make it 7-0.

A bad snap on a Pioneer punt resulted in a safety and a 9-0 deficit.

The Cubs took the short kickoff and scored again on a 21-yard QB keeper right up the middle to make it 16-0 with 1:59 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, U-D scored again on a 55-yard TD run to make it 23-0.

Three big plays and a bad snap on a punt and the Pioneers were in a huge hole.

The Cubs dug the hole deeper after a four-yard TD run with 5:29 left to make it 30-0.

The Pioneers play at Huron (0-2) on Sept. 8.

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